Complex Search-Results Pages Change Search Behavior: The Pinball Pattern #UX

nngroup.com
5 months ago
Complex Search-Results Pages Change Search Behavior: The Pinball Pattern

Gone are the days when Google would return a simple list of 10 blue links, each neatly packaged with a URL, blue link, and text snippet. Today, search-engine-results pages (SERPs) are far more complex. The majority of SERPs on major web-search engines like Google and Bing present at least one informational, interactive feature. Left: A results page for George Brett from 2009; Right: A results page for the same query in 2019, with a variety of content types, features, and presentations. The continuously evolving layout of the SERP is shaping how people search. Each new feature affects the distribution of users’ attention on the page. In the old days of web search, users would reliably focus their attention on the first few results at the top of the page and would sequentially move from result to result down the list. (In the research for our first edition of the How…

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